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03 October 2023

Bin Drai and Zedan to vie for Diamond Polo Cup

Saeed Bin Drai (left), Abdulaziz Ahmed of Zedan Group and Mohammed El Arishy of Rolls Royce at the press conference to announce the Diamond Polo Cup. (SUPPLIED)

By Allaam Ousman

Bin Drai Polo and the Zedan Group have launched a new high-goal polo tournament, the Diamond Polo Cup, set to take place at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club on Friday.

Boasting some of the highest-ranking players in the world, the inaugural event will see local champions Bin Drai Polo and Saudi-based Zedan Polo go head-to-head for the prestigious title in an exhibition match.

"It will bring a new dimension to high-goal polo in the Middle East. The Diamond Cup will welcome some of the greatest players for an invite-only crowd the chance to witness an exhilarating tournament of polo at its very best," said Saeed Bin Drai at a press conference held in Dubai on Tuesday.

Abdulaziz Ahmed speaking on behalf of Amr Zedan said their contribution to polo comes from the belief of Amr that this sport should grow bigger in the Middle East.

"Polo is known as the sport of kings. Rolls Royce is known as car of kings. We are pleased to be part of Diamond Polo Cup," said Mohammed El Arishy, Brand Manager of Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce will be bring special edition car called Thoroughbred Coupe which is themed around horses for the event, he said.

With Prince Hashim bin Al Hussein, Amr F. Zedan, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Julio Novillo Astrada representing Zedan Polo and Saeed Bin Drai, Adriano Agosti, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Toccalino forming the Bin Drai Polo team the game is set to make captivating viewing.

"The four Argentine pros play in the Argentina Open which is the highest level of polo in world. All of these players are ranked among the top ten in the world. We hope that this event will bring a lot of excitement and joy to the spectators to see this high level of polo in the UAE," added Saeed who took up the sport passionately last year after completing his University education.

"My father Humaid Bin Drai started polo in 74 with the old Dubai Polo Club. My father didn't play polo, he just love the sportWhen I came back from University last year I started playing polo at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club because I decided I needed a new sport. I was doing jet skiing and motor bike racing before. I got bored of it and since I loved horse racing and loved the game of polo I started playing it. I got my brothers also to play. That's my passion for the sport. In the Arab world we are the only four brothers to play polo," he said giving a history of Bin Drai Polo Club.

"Dubai is the Makkah of the equestrian world. We realised there is a niche for a high class tournament. We are hopeful this event will have a very positive outcome and people enjoy it. The whole idea is to encourage the sport," he said when asked why they decided to stage this event.

"Amr (Zedan) and myself are close friends. We play in Europe together. Since he plays in Dubai quite a bit, we decided to mesh our synergies together. We want to encourage polo and set a standard," he said adding it would be an annual event.

Tournament sponsors including Emaar Properties, Rolls Royce, Veuve Cliquot, and Laureus Sports For Good Foundation have been quick to show their alliance with the event.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of presenting sponsors, Emaar Properties, stated: "The Arab world has a rich equestrian heritage, further popularised through world-class sporting events hosted in Dubai. The inaugural Diamond Polo Cup puts the spotlight on the growing popularity of polo, and will serve as a perfect platform for the world’s leading polo talent to display their skills. Through initiatives such as the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Emaar has been at the forefront in promoting polo and other equestrian games, and it is our honor to extend our support to the Diamond Polo Cup”.

Hosted by Saeed Bin Drai of Bin Drai Polo and Amr F Zedan of the Zedan Group, the Diamond Polo Cup was created to celebrate the growth of the 'sport of kings' in the region and to form one of the most exclusive events on the world polo calendar.

This prestigious, invite-only event will be attended by royalty, international celebrities and VIP guests, according to the organisers.